What is SharePoint Farm and How SharePoint Architecture Works

Sahil Verma
Sahil Verma linkedin | Updated On - April 13, 2023 |

Read time: 5 minutes

Are you looking for an easy & effortless way to organize and manage documents, files, and other information? SharePoint Farms provide powerful tools for storing, managing, sharing, and collaborating on data. As the backbone of a modern intranet system for business organizations of all sizes, understanding how the “SharePoint architecture” works is essential in order to maximize its efficiency.

In this article, we’ll explain what SharePoint Farm & dive into the details of their architecture from start is to finish. Through examples and detailed information on each step along the way we’ll show you everything you need to know about setting up your perfect SharePoint Farm.

What is SharePoint Farm: What You Need to Know

SharePoint Farm represents more than just a simple grouping of servers. It is a complex system that provides a highly effective platform with an incredible amount of power to support a site. By using the SharePoint Farm structure, multiple servers can work together to provide unparalleled performance and reliability. Through the advanced design of this system, users can accomplish tasks such as SharePoint document management, web content management, and site administration with ease.

SharePoint Farms form the backbone of a company’s IT infrastructure. With multiple WFEs, application servers, and database servers all working together to provide services to users, it is quite important to have a basic understanding of each server type and its purpose to maximize productivity and efficiency.

  1. Web Front End Servers (WFEs)
    All documents, lists and hub sites in SharePoint Online are handled by the WFE server. This is where most user activity occurs—users can view documents, upload files, create lists, etc.—which means the WFE must be reliable and scalable enough to handle large amounts of traffic from multiple users accessing multiple sites simultaneously. The number of WFEs needed depends on the size of your organization—the larger the organization, the more WFEs you will need in order to support your users’ needs.
  2. Application Servers
    A server application hosts applications & services that serve backend requests. For example, it hosts scheduled jobs and crawls content for search indexing purposes. These services are typically run on dedicated application servers so that they do not interfere with user activity on the web front ends. An example would be running a service application on an application server that periodically crawls all web content within a given site collection so that it can be indexed properly by search engines.
  3. Database Servers
    Since database servers store & retrieve data, they must also be robust to ensure data integrity at all times while also being efficient enough to deliver results quickly when requested by users or service applications running on application servers. SQL Server is typically used as it provides both reliability and scalability for data storage needs across multiple sites within a given farm.
    Also, database mirroring can be enabled between two databases for them to stay synchronized at all times should one fail unexpectedly due to hardware or software issues. All changes made to one mirrored database will automatically be applied across both databases ensuring maximum redundancy at all times for any given farm setup.
SharePoint Farm Admin Functions

As a SharePoint Farm Administrator, you are responsible for the installation, configuration, maintenance, and support of a SharePoint environment. You will be working closely with other administrators and technical staff to ensure the overall stability and availability of the SharePoint farm. Here are some of the key roles & responsibilities of a SharePoint Farm Administrator:

  • Manage SharePoint farm architecture, including hardware and software components such as servers, databases, network, storage, etc.
  • Install, configure, and maintain SharePoint farm servers and other related applications, such as SQL server, Visual Studio, etc.
  • Monitor performance, usage, and security of the SharePoint environment, and apply necessary updates, patches, and configurations to improve performance and security.
  • Develop & implement SharePoint Online backup and restore & disaster recovery plans, to ensure that data and applications are safe.
  • Manage user access and permissions and ensure that information and resources are accessed only by authorized users, and that sensitive data is protected from unauthorized access.
Single Vs Multiple Farms in SharePoint

When it comes to SharePoint, a single farm setup and multiple farm setup are two popular methods of configuration. With the single farm option, all web applications and databases are deployed on the same physical server or virtual machine which offers increased consolidation efficiency as compared to hosting with multiple farms.

On the other hand, a multiple farm setup utilizes several separate servers or virtual machines and is beneficial when you have large amounts of storage space that needs to be managed or need to spread processing-intensive tasks across multiple servers.

As an example, companies may choose to have one dedicated SharePoint server for search queries and another for business intelligence operations. Ultimately, the choice between these two methods depends on the goals and needs of the user or organization.

SharePoint Workflow Architecture

SharePoint workflows are used to automate business processes and streamline work within the SharePoint platform. SharePoint workflows are created using a series of steps and actions that are executed in the order specified. The workflow engine runs on the SharePoint application server, and it is responsible for processing workflows that are initiated within the SharePoint environment. Workflows can be designed using SharePoint Designer, Visio, or any tool that generates a SharePoint Workflow Markup Language file.


Scaling in SharePoint refers to the process of adding or removing servers from a SharePoint Farm to improve performance or accommodate growth. This is done by using the SharePoint Central Administration Website to create new servers, move services between existing servers, or remove servers that are no longer needed. Scaling enables SharePoint to handle increasing user numbers or data loads.

Wrapping Up

After learning about SharePoint farms and how SharePoint architecture works, it is now clear that the right implementation of SharePoint can help you optimize your operational processes to become more efficient and productive. SharePoint farms offer plenty of multi-functional capabilities that make it easier for organizations to improve their workflows connectedness. It’s vital for an organization to understand the architecture of its chosen platform to achieve maximum productivity from the system utilized.

Moreover, for quick, efficient, and effective approaches to any SharePoint migration needs, you can rely on the Kernel Migrator for SharePoint to make it happen. SharePoint migration software allows for streamlined migrations with minimal compatibility issues, making for a smooth transition from one platform to another.

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint